Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news highlighting women’s roles, contributions, and achievements in the evolving media business. This latest installment covers Arianna Huffington’s latest move, a look at Joanna Cole’s role as “The Cosmo Woman,” Girls Who Code participants’ visit to the Times newsroom, a Slack community focused on the gender pay gap, and more.

  • Surprise move As numerousHuffington photo news outlets reported last week, Arianna Huffington unexpectedly announced she’s leaving The Huffington Post to devote her time to a new health and wellness startup. Considered one of the most powerful women in media, Huffington co-founded her namesake website with BuzzFeed’s Jonah Perretti and Kenneth Lerer, serving as its editor in chief. Among other projects, she has also authored 15 books on everything from politics to spirituality to self-help. Her latest, The Sleep Revolution and Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, together laid the groundwork for her new venture, Thrive Global, “a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform­” slated to officially launch in November, according to The Washington Post. “The original idea was that I could do both,” Huffington said. “But it very quickly turned out to be an illusion.” While her move and legacy aren’t without controversy, AOL Tim Armstrong and many others industrywide acknowledged Huffington for her “groundbreaking work” as a digital media pioneer.
  • The Cosmo Woman The New York Times last month profiled another icon in the publishing world: Cosmopolitan’s Joanna Coles. Calling herself a “brand steward,” Coles acknowledged in the article that bringing attention to her publication—in the tradition of predecessor Helen Gurley Brown—is more of a focus than the actual day-to-day operation of the print publication and website. As such, she’s involved in a range of projects, including an E! reality series called “Cosmo Life,” which follows the day-to-day life of Cosmo editors, and a series on ABC’s Freeform network called “Issues,” based on her own life. And of course Coles is active on social media, and was recently appointed to the board of messaging app Snapchat—a platform on which Cosmo is seeing phenomenal success, with 3 million viewers per day. She also travels worldwide to attend industry and red carpet events, speaking engagements, and the like. And if that weren’t enough, she’s also working on a book about intimacy in the digital era. An interesting read, the Times article takes a look at where Coles has been and where she intends to take the Cosmo brand as the publishing landscape evolves.
  • Opening doors Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging girls to consider careers in tech, recently partnered with The New York Times to host an event that gave 90 participants a behind-the-scenes look at how a leading multiplatform newsroom works along with a chance to explore roles in its technology and product development groups. “The Girls Who Code program is doing a great job in instilling confidence in these girls really early on,” said Carrie Price, an event coordinator and software engineer at the Times, adding that introducing students to women working in tech “in real life” is key. To address the tech skills gap, the Times not only works with organizations like Girls Who Code, but has also set up a Diversity in Digital task force to boost recruitment and advancement of women in its technology group.
  • Starting conversations Using the popular messaging app Slack, The Washington Post is building a community focused on the gender pay gap. Called Pay Up, the community not only provides career support, networking opportunities, and job postings, but is also a place where users can freely discuss any number of topics related to the wage gap and workplace diversity. “Women are already having these conversations among themselves all the time, so we thought we could foster those conversations and do something bigger with them,” Washington Post social media editor Alex Laughlin told Nieman Lab. In addition to open group discussions, Pay Up brings in experts for roundtable discussions and lets members create their own channels focused on personal preferences such as specific cities or even music, the article notes. The aim is to “let women bring and talk about their entire selves,” said Laughlin.

Hiring news roundup

  • Georgine Anton was promoted to president of Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. She joined the group in 1999 and was named its vice president and general manager in 2015.
  • Melissa Bell was appointed publisher of Vox Media. She previously served as the company’s vice president for growth.
  • Erin Beresini joined Competitor Group as editor in chief of Triathlete and previously served as an online staff writer for Outside.
  • Amina Canter joined Refinery29 as executive vice president of partnerships and distribution. Canter most recently was COO and senior VP of business planning and development at Astronauts Wanted, and prior to that worked at Time Warner Cable and NBCUniversal.
  • Susan Ferber, most recently Bicycling’s national digital advertising director, joined Organic Life and Prevention as associate publisher.
  • Tammy Hobar is now marketing director at Organic Life and Prevention, previously serving as a marketing specialist at Perfect Six Marketing.
  • Lauren Iannotti joined Meredith as executive editor of Rachael Ray Every Day. She most recently served in the same role at Condé Nast’s Brides and prior to that held positions at Esquire, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Glamour.
  • Poppy MacDonald was named president of Politico U.S. In 2010, MacDonald helped launch Politico Pro, and is now rejoining the company from National Journal, where she was publisher and president.
  • Kim Martin was promoted to chief brand officer at Meredith, overseeing corporate marketing and video creation. Martin joined the publisher as chief strategy officer last year and prior to that was president of WE tv.
  • Ashley Mateo was named site director at Redbookmag.com, previously serving as digital deputy editor at Shape.
  • Kristina McMahon was named associate publisher of marketing at O, The Oprah Magazine. She had served as senior associate publisher at Women’s Health.
  • Amy Odell added the role of director of editorial strategy at Redbookmag.com to her current duties as Cosmopolitan’s site director.
  • Christine Petrillo was named vice president of brand partnerships at TV Guide Magazine. Petrillo previously served as director of branded entertainment sales at iHeartMedia.
  • Yolanda Sangweni was promoted to digital content director at Essence.com, where she previously served as entertainment editor.
  • Alyson Shontell moved up to the role of editor in chief of Business Insider U.S. Shontell had been deputy editor of Tech Insider, which was recently folded back into the main BI newsroom.
  • Jane Spencer was appointed deputy editor, strategy, at the Guardian U.S. Most recently Spencer worked at Fusion as editor in chief, digital, and senior vice president, emerging platforms.
  • Shawna Thomas is joining Vice News as its Washington bureau chief. For the past 10 years, Thomas worked for NBC, most recently as senior producer and senior digital editor of “Meet the Press.”

Let us know in the comments if there are any other recent stories or career moves you’d like us to include in our next Women in Media roundup.

Washington Post Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for AOL

Technology for Publishing’s Women in Media blog highlights the news and achievements of female leaders and role models in the publishing and media industry. Look for our in-depth profiles and interviews of top women to watch. Is there someone you’d like to nominate for an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a note!

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.